Do you have an online store but you are frustrated because you are not making sales? Then you are probably doing something wrong. Every online store owner understands the importance of optimizing their websites for customers. When you optimize your website for customers you improve the conversion rate for the traffic you get from referrals, search engines, social media and all the other sources of traffic your store has. Without optimizing your website for sales, you will get all the traffic you have ever dreamed of, but getting sales won’t happen. If you happen to generate sales, the conversion rate will be very low meaning you make low sales and even tinier profits. In our newest article on the Build You Online Shop series we compiled 15 tips to optimize your online store to help you convert the massive number of visitors coming to your online store to sales:
1. Optimize your online store’s navigation
You should make sure that your visitors are able to navigate your online store with ease. You can do this by making sure that the structure of your webshop is simple and well organized. Always ensure that your products are well displayed and that your visitors do not have a hard time trying to find them. Poor navigation is a major turn-off for people since they do not have the time to figure out where to find products, the login or signup tabs or related products among other things. Keep in mind that a website’s structure plays a major role in determining a visitor’s experience which can be easily converted into sales. Strive to ensure that your users have a smooth experience in your online store so that they can be motivated to make a purchase.
2. Provide a persistent shopping cart for your customers
Do not just create a normal shopping cart for your customers. Make the shopping cart an obstinate one. You can do this by making sure that a user’s shopping cart remains intact even if they leave your webshop and come back weeks or months well ahead. Studies that have been conducted have revealed that 74% of the online shoppers who abandon their shopping cart do so because they mean to return to the store later. Most of them use the shopping cart as their wish list to stock products that they will need later. If you leave their shopping cart intact they will be compelled to make a purchase when they come back to the site.
3. Make it easy for your customers to contact you
Good communication comes in handy in enhancing the relationship between a buyer and a seller. Ensure that you provide your users with multiple ways of contacting you. Having your mobile number or email address on your website and providing live chat capabilities is a huge step towards gaining trust and credibility from your customers. This shows that your webshop is alive and that you mean business. Also, ensure that all these means of communication are always working instead of using them as mere placeholders. Additionally, link your store to your social media accounts.
Your social media accounts show people the size of following you have, as well as, the active conversations that you have had with other people. Besides, in the modern world, social media icons are considered as social proof. If you have a physical store, you can add your address and contacts of the store. It is also helpful to post photos of the store and provide a site map that can be used by the customers who want to visit the physical store. All this will help to build customer’s trust in your business, hence increasing your sales.
4. Use a value proposition
A value proposition is a catchy phrase will assist you to get the attention of a potential customer. It’s what convinces your customer to purchase from you instead of your competitor. It helps to sell the uniqueness of your online store. The value proposition should always appear at the center of your homepage where everyone can see it. Surveys that have been conducted have revealed that value propositions have helped to boost the sales of different webshops.
Most store owners do not know where to locate their value proposition. You can use a heat mapping tool that will assist in showing you the areas on your homepage that most visitors look at. Once you’ve identified the best place to position your catch phrase, you need to come up with one. Ensure that you also test your value proposition and see what effect it has on the sales and traffic to your online store. If the effects are positive, then keep it. If not, then you should come up with a better one.
5. Feature reviews and testimonials on your site
Most people like to share the experiences they have had with a certain product. They also like to give tips on how it should be used, as well as providing suggestions. You should provide this feature to your customers on the site. You should also make sure you display these comments and suggestions on the product reviews. Previous studies have shown that featuring reviews and testimonials on your site increases sales by 18%.
The studies also reveal that 40.9% of respondents admitted that they consider customer reviews and testimonials before they purchase a product. For this reason, it is imperative that you include reviews from customers who have previously purchased from your store. You could also post reviews that you have received from popular magazines and people. This mainly comes in handy when one is selling a new product that people have not heard about. These reviews contribute to the authenticity of the products.
6. Provide assistance and support to your users
People normally have a lot of questions regarding a product before they purchase it. Create a Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) and Support page on your site and provide answers to the questions and concerns of customers. You can also have tutorials on how to use the products. These can be in video or pdf format. Ensure that you update your support page as frequently as possible so as to keep the customers up to date and also ensure that they get the information that they require. In addition to that, you can also consider setting up and administering user support forums. When users get all the information they require from your website, then they are more likely to make purchases.
7. Enable a variety of payment and shipping methods
People use diverse methods of payment to pay for products and services provided. For this reason, you should ensure that you provide different methods of payment for your customers like Paypal, Mastercard, Skrill, etc. You should also outline the necessary shipping policy. You should ensure that you have included the charges that required for delivery of the product.
8. Keep your visitors and customers updated
Always ensure that your customers are up to date on the product’s description and use. You can always write articles and create other content to serve as guidelines to users, as well as boost the knowledge they have. You can also create content that revolves around the area of interest of your target market. In addition to that, ensure that you share tips on how they can improve their experiences. Always ensure that your blog is regularly updated. This will spark people’s interest in the products, hence increasing sales.
9. Describe the products correctly that you deal in
As an online store owner, you are not physically present to provide a product description to each customer. As a result, you should ensure that you do it on the site. Every product should be fully described before it is put up for sale. Since the potential customers cannot touch the products that you are dealing in, they rely on the description to decide on whether they will make the purchase or not. You should ensure that you always write up accurate, detailed and unique descriptions so as to help the customer understand the product better. Product descriptions matter. In fact, they can have a positive effect on the number of sales customers make on your online store.
10. Ensure that your customer returns
The surest way to ensure that you keep on making sales and more profits is by having your customers return to your online store. If you provide your customers with quality products and amazing after-sales services like excellent and well-designed packaging, they are most likely going to come back.
11. You can always use special offers, discounts, and coupons
Discounts and special offers have an effect on customers because they always want to spend a little and still be happy. You can have special offers on your online store. These will always catch the eye of potential customers. Offering discounted prices and coupons can also go a long way in attracting people to purchase from your online store. Customers are more likely to purchase a product if it is being sold at a lower price. Sometimes they might even buy more than one.
12. Provide a print button on your site
Seeing is believing but having it physically with you makes it much better. Most individuals wish to print out the pages that have product details and descriptions so they can understand what exactly they are purchasing, as well as, the features. Ensure that this option is available for them in your store. This can increase the customers’ chances of purchasing your products.
13. Make sharing as easy as 123
Customers can always get excited about a new product that they have purchased. For this reason, they are likely to share the product with friends and family on their social media platform. They are also likely to tell others about their shopping experience. You should ensure that you provide a platform for your customers to do so. You should have social media sharing buttons that your customers can use to easily share their experiences and the links to specific products they bought on your store. This can also boost your sales since people will be interested in learning more about the store and trying out the services offered therefore helping to spread the word about the existence of the online shop.
14. Make good use of Multimedia
The modern world revolves around the internet. Videos, photos, and images have dominated the internet. There are various platforms on the internet that one can use to create and share videos and images. You can also use these platforms to boost your sales and to invite people to your site. You could create and share videos about the products on YouTube and you can also post photos on Instagram and Pinterest. Pinterest has driven more sales to online stores in the past two years and is only second to Facebook. Using nice images can go a long way towards increasing the amount of time that people spend on your online store, intensify interaction, and also boost sales.
15. Always recommend a related product
The main aim of the online store is to boost sales and profits. As a result, the owner should ensure that their decisions are linked to this particular goal. Some sites have a system that suggests a similar product to a customer before they check out. You can always show your customers products which are similar to other products that they’ve already expressed interest in. You can do this by networking the product pages with other pages containing similar products. For example, you can suggest a case for a customer who has bought a phone or tablet. That could prompt them to buy both the case and the gadget at the same time and it obviously generates more sales.
Do you have any other tips to add to the ones I have listed above? Share in the comments section below.